Announcing PHIT’s New Artistic Director

We hope this message finds you doing well as the latest COVID spike continues to subside!

Following last month’s announcement about our re-opening plans, we are excited to provide a further update regarding the new leadership of the theater. Today, we are announcing our new Artistic Director and opening applications for the positions of Education Director and Operations Director. We are eager to finish filling out the Senior Leadership Team for PHIT so that we can start providing updates on a new vision for the theater and timelines for our first classes, auditions, and performances in over a year.

Welcome PHIT’s New Artistic Director: Derek Hayes

Derek Hayes (he/him) is an alum of the Washington, DC comedy scene, where he interned and trained at Washington Improv Theater. Amongst multiple WIT projects during his time in DC, he is a founding member of the all-Black troupe Lena Dunham. Since moving to Philadelphia in 2017, he has been a performer, instructor, and director at PHIT, while also a producer for the We The People Improv Festival in 2018 and 2019. Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, Derek’s digital comedy projects have included co-producing four full length online sketch shows with the DC based Cookout Collective, as well as becoming a Features Contributor for The Onion. He also co-created and hosted over 30 online episodes of Hold Up!: a Black Book Club, which has been performed live at Washington Improv Theater and as a part of Contemporary Theater Company’s Ocean State Black and Funny Improv Festival. 2021 brought Derek’s most rewarding project thus far: his son, Kenny.

If you’d like to contact Derek as he is getting started, you can email

Applications Open for Education Director and Operations Director

Alongside Derek, Philly Improv Theater will be managed by a Senior Leadership Team that also includes our Education Director, and our Operations Director. Each position will make the important decisions about their individual areas of responsibility, and make decisions together on major issues which impact the theater and community as a whole.

We are excited to open applications for both positions today. Interviews and hiring will be on a rolling basis, so if you are interested we encourage you to apply soon. Further specific information on each position is available on the Philly Improv Theater’s website Jobs page.

More updates next month!

Philly Improv Theater

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